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Why is number ten significant -- Commandments, men in a minyan, etc.?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


Library » Miscellaneous » Hebrew / Languages » Codes and Numbers | Subscribe | What is RSS?


The number ten symbolizes perfection.

The world was created with ten utterances (Avos 5:1), this is because the Torah, which is the blue print which G-d used to create the world, is based on Ten Commandments. This is why in mathematics the number ten is a complete number—all numbers run in cycles of ten.

In mathematics the number ten is a complete number—all numbers run in cycles of ten
In Kabbalistic terms, G-d created the world with ten divine attributes. They are: Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Kindness, Severity, Harmony, Perseverance, Splendor, Attachment and Royalty. Accordingly, the entire creation is a reflection of these ten attributes.

TAGS: ten, 10


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10 being a perfect number

Posted by: Rafael J. Azanza, Makati, Philippines on Dec 06, 2005 is a truly enlightening website and I congratulate you. However, there is nothing "perfect" about the number 10. You state that numbers repeat in cycles of ten; but of course that's only one way of presenting numbers (to the base ten.) Binary presentation is quite different but equally valid, as is the use of any other number - aside from 10 - as the base. Perhaps mysticism can be carried too far, and I don't mean any disrespect.

Editor's Comment

The reason why (to my knowledge) de facto all societies use the number ten as a complete number, is because this really is a complete number -- the number with which G-d created the world.

one other view re: human societies and the number 10

Posted by: Rafael J. Azanza, Makati, Philippines on Dec 07, 2005

Thank you for your response. Only one more comment : it has been proposed by smarter people than me that the reason many human societies use ten as the base is that human beings have ten fingers and ten toes. That's how we intuitively count, in cycles of 10. A society of, say, aliens on some other planet, having a different number of fingers and toes, would intuitively choose another base, and would feel that our base 10 is unnatural. Of course I will understand if you don't post this - must let others post, it's OK.

Editor's Comment

The reason why we have ten fingers and toes is also because that is a perfect number...


Torah » Codes and Numbers
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Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
(adj.) Pertaining to Kabbalah—Jewish mysticism.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.